I Will Be Like the Most High, Part 1
While we’re dealing with Daniel 1 in another series, I want to start this new one while it’s fresh in my mind. In this series, we’re going to look at Satan’s original sin, where it led, and why God didn’t put Lucifer (Satan) into the Lake of Fire that was created for him and his angels (cf. Matthew 25:41) right then and there. Why did God allow Satan to continue to exist (with his fallen cohorts) outside of the Lake of Fire to eventually ruin God’s Creation? In other words, we are actually going to take the time to look at the big picture of not only God’s redemptive plan but the bigger picture that includes God’s plan of redemption, as well as everything else.
If I were to ask you what you think the most important aspect of God’s will is – His highest purpose – what is it do you think most people would say? How would they respond to that? Most people – even after they think about it for a few seconds – would say that God’s highest purpose is found in the offering of salvation to humanity. It seems a no-brainer, right? God loves us because He is love and that love prompted Him to do what no other being in the entire universe could do. He created a way for salvation to be offered to people and with it, a way for Him to redeem His Creation from the ravages of sin itself. This is perfectly in line with God’s love and holiness, as well as His perfect sense of justice. His holiness hates sin, so His love finds a way to forgive sin for those who come to Him in faith, and this completely satisfies His need for justice.
While salvation is extremely important, it is not God’s highest purpose. His highest purpose,, according to many sections of Scripture, is to glorify Himself. At first glance, to fallen human beings, this seems like something that is borne of arrogance or hubris. When we think of another human being doing something that brings themselves notoriety or “glory,” we naturally think of self-aggrandizement. We see these people as being full of themselves, the type of person that is difficult to be around for any real length of time. Everything they do points to themselves. They crave attention.
But God is God. He is not fallen. He is the opposite of conceited, arrogant, or filled with hubris. He is not self-aggrandizing. He is not those things because He is perfect love. Because of that, He loves perfectly. Because of that love, He can only do those things that are best and perfect for all and that means that everything will bring Him glory. He can never do anything that even smells of sin. It is impossible.
In essence then, when God glorifies Himself, He does so because it is ultimately best for everything. When He created, everything He so created was considered “good” by God (Genesis 1-2). It was good because none of it had yet been tainted by any degree of sin. When things are perfect, they glorify God. At the same time, even though Satan sinned and brought humanity to its knees through temptation and eventual sin (the fall, cf. Genesis 3), even that will ultimately bring glory to God because it puts the focus on the only perfect response to sin, God’s ineffable love. The greater the darkness, the greater God’s splendor and the brighter His love is displayed.
So why is this series titled, “I Will Be Like the Most High”? Simply put, because I want to show that though God could have destroyed Satan immediately after sin was found in him, there was something in Satan’s inner discussion with himself that God chose to use for His glory. This attitude of Satan’s (Lucifer before the fall) became the catalyst that God would use to eventually allow the entire universe to one day see the logical conclusion of Satan’s sin, prompted by his own inner pride. It would display before the universe the concept that even when Satan was given every opportunity to bring his promises of Isaiah 14:12-17 to fruition – though murmured in the secrecy of his own heart – would be publicly displayed and he – Satan – would be just as publicly humiliated before all the universe. Here are the verses (and I’ve bolded verse 14b).
12 “How you have fallen from heaven,
O star of the morning, son of the dawn!
You have been cut down to the earth,
You who have weakened the nations!
13 “But you said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.
14 ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
15 “Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol,
To the recesses of the pit.
16 “Those who see you will gaze at you,
They will ponder over you, saying,
‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
Who shook kingdoms,
17 Who made the world like a wilderness
And overthrew its cities,
Who did not allow his prisoners to go home?’
In essence, what we will eventually learn is that while God offering salvation is most definitely something that brings tremendous glory to God, it is not His highest purpose. It is only part of His highest purpose. The overriding higher purpose of God has been to prove the entire universe and every creature within it that this so-called battle between “good” and “evil,” God vs. Satan is no battle at all. Not only that, but it will be forever written into the annals of future history into future eternity that sin was finally exhausted and still, God won, with infinite energy to spare. Sin actually will come to an end when Satan will have done everything he can to bring his own paltry, arrogant-driven promises to fruition, after he is released from the bottomless pit for a short time, following the Millennial Kingdom, where Jesus will physically rule over this earth for which He gained the title-deed (cf. Revelation 5).
Though God could have sent Satan immediately to the Lake of Fire to begin his eternal sentence once sin had been found in him, God chose to wait. Satan then went to battle and managed to convince one-third of the angelic host to follow him in his deceit and sin. God could have then thrown Satan and the one-third angelic host into the Lake of Fire, but God chose to wait. There must have been a very good reason.
Left alive and in control of much, Satan set his sights on the man and the woman whom God had created and placed on the earth as His guardians and overlords of this planet, with Adam as the federal head and Eve as his equal help-meet, though both had unique and different roles. Satan chose to work through Eve to bring them both down and gain custody of planet earth. Satan zeroed in on Eve because he sensed that Eve was more susceptible to deception (cf. Genesis 3). In fact, the apostle Paul spells it out for us very clearly in 1 Timothy 2:12-14.
“I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.”
Please notice several things that Paul points out.
- Adam was created by God first, and
- Eve was deceived (not Adam)
While Paul – in the above passage – explains why he did not allow women to teach men, this rationale also helps us understand God’s created order. Beyond that, it also enlightens us as to why Satan likely chose Eve as his target. Women, in general, are more feelings oriented. Men are generally more cerebral. But with all the “gender-bending” that’s been going on in the world, it’s easy to see why Satan has wanted to turn God’s created order upside down.
Satan clearly knew that if he approached Adam, Adam would likely not take the bait because he would not be tempted by the way the forbidden fruit smelled or looked. Eve was, and it only took Satan a brief amount of time watching her to figure that out. Satan likely figured Adam would be more inclined to follow Eve into sin, which would also overturn God’s created order.
God made Adam as the head of the home. This, unfortunately, has come to mean that men lord it over their wives. No, what it means is that as far as God is concerned, the man, as the head of home, is responsible for what occurs in that home. It is no different from being an employee under a boss. While both individuals are equal – humanly speaking – there is an order and difference in their roles. The employee shouldn’t question the orders given to by the boss. The employee’s job is to simply carry them out. A boss who is overbearing and obnoxious soon loses employees as they begin to search for better pastures. The boss who understands what it means to lead does so in a way that does not rob those under him of feelings of self-worth. Too many husbands forget this and too many women are constantly trying to usurp the man’s God-given authority.
I count it a blessing that my wife allows me to lead. For a woman to do that takes tremendous strength and self-confidence. It’s not like I’ve never made mistakes either, but her willingness to allow me to lead tells me how much she loves me. I dare not mistreat that trust.
We know the outcome of the fall. Eve was deceived into sinning, then Adam quickly followed suit by deliberately rebelling, knowing full well what he was doing. Our first parents rebelled against God. In doing so, they lost a tremendous amount and gained a sin nature and death, both spiritually (immediately) and physically (it started immediately).
Our parents also lost something else of extreme importance. They lost the title-deed to the earth. It changed ownership because they changed their allegiance from God to Satan. It would require Another to come, live, die, and rise again to get it back.
But why didn’t God send Satan and his angels to the Lake of Fire before any of this took place? Because God had (has) a plan that will showcase His highest purpose to the entire universe one day. Because of that, all mouths who would protest will be shut. All knees will bow. Everything that God ever made will give Him glory and it will be so for all future eternity.
We will be back with part 2 very soon.
Entry filed under: christianity, Demonic, devil worship, Emotional virtue, eternity, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism.